Also known as inside sales, internal sales is the sale of products or services by an internal team who reach prospects by phone, email or online, rather than travelling to meet them face-to-face.
Due to the absence of travel and other business expenses, internal sales can be a very lucrative sales channel for any organisation.
That said, it does come with a unique set of challenges. Most salespeople enjoy meeting prospects face-to-face and rely heavily on body language and other nonverbal cues. Internal sales can be less personal and may require sales reps to draw on different skills.
With this in mind, here are five ways to drive sales performance in your internal sales team.
1. Recruit specifically for internal sales specialists
If possible, hire sales reps with experience as there are nuances to inside sales. Write a detailed job description that describes the unique skills required for this role and look for people who have had previous experience.
“Be specific in your recruitment efforts,” says SalesStar founder and group chief executive, Paul O’Donohue.
“This will help you find the right people for the role, and most importantly, attract the reps who genuinely enjoy working in this area of sales.”
2. Invest in internal sales training
If it’s difficult to recruit people with previous internal sales experience, invest in specialised internal sales training to bring staff up to speed.
Generic sales training won’t be targeted enough; try to find a training provider that can focus on the exact skills that people need to sell over the phone, email and online.
3. Make the most of technology
There are several fantastic sales systems that help you sell online, such as Zoom and Go-to-meeting. Make the most of the modern technology available and look for innovative ways to connect with prospects.
One major benefit of internal sales is that many people are too busy to attend face-to-face meetings. By offering to call or set up a video conference instead, you’re saving them precious time and allowing them to learn about your product or service on their own terms.
4. Include internal sales in your sales process
If your sales process is largely tailored towards face-to-face sales, do what you can to make sure internal sales steps are included.
“A good sales process should cover all sales approaches – both internal and external,” says Paul.
“Make sure it supports your internal sales staff just as much as other people on your team.”
5. Create a healthy workplace culture
A sense of camaraderie and teamwork is arguably even more important in internal sales than other types of sales. Unlike travelling salespeople, internal sales staff will be spending a lot of time in the office and in each other’s company.
Invest time and energy into creating a fun, vibrant workplace culture so that people enjoy coming into work every day. For example, set up a staff social club, put a nice coffee machine in the kitchen, or arrange team breakfasts once a week. There are hundreds of ways you can create an epic staff culture that’s unique to your organisation.
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